Got this because I already have the TMQ-34 Meteorological Measuring Set and this set is packaged in the same transport case and was also used by the US Air Force. Part of my general interest in weather.
GMQ-33 Transportable Cloud Height Measuring SetThis is a single box (transportable by one man) solution that used the round trip time of a laser beam to determine cloud height. The beam needs to be plumb and to accomplish that there's a bubble level on the front panel. Note that the prior GMQ-13 needed to be installed on concrete pads in surveyed locations and was not at all transportable.
Jan 1989 - AWS began an initiative to acquire an additional 178 AN/TMQ-34 Tactical Meteorological Observation Systems and 218 AN/GMQ-33 Cloud Height Sets in addition to the 401 TMQ-34s and 224 GMQ-33s it already purchased.
10 May 1991 - Operation PRODUCTIVE EFFORT/SEA ANGEL (Wiki). US forces deployed to Bangladesh to provide assistance in the wake of a 30 April cyclone and deadly tornadoes that killed hundreds of thousands of people and leaving thousands more homeless. 1st Wea Wg formed its Crisis Action Team to manage weather support. AFW weather teams deployed with the 1/1 Special Forces Group Disaster Assessment Response Team and 4/25th Aviation Regiment from 25th Infantry Division [Tropic Lightning] to Chittagong. The teams traveled light deploying with 9315TRs [HF fax receiver], TMQ-34 [Meteorological Measuring Set], Belt Weather Kit (USU, Forestry Suppliers), GMQ-33 [Tactical Cloud Height Set], Taylor barometer, and a WRASSE [weather satellite receiver]. GOLDWING [tactical communications set] were not shipped due to cargo constraints. Communication signal reception from High Frequency Broadcast Stations (HFRBS) was very poor and unreliable throughout the entire 30 day deployment period.
Document Detail for IRISNUM= 00874891
IRISNUM 00874891 OLDACC CLASS SECRET
BEG_DATE 08-08-1990 MAIN UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND PUB_DATE
END_DATE 02-01-1991 CALL K178.8912-11 REEL 27748
ACCS_DATE MAJCOM RECTYPE
REL_DATE 04-26-1995 TITLE TITLE_XT
ACCNOTES IRISREF FRAME 1425
FRAMELST 1578 INDEXID 37 NUMPAGES
Includes information on:
TMQ-36 order requirements for Operation Desert Shield (Wiki); TACtical METeorological (TACMET) equipment; expendable supply; supply requirements for desert shield; request for belt kits; additional TMQ-34S equipment; Desert Shield long/term equipment replacement plan; TACMET equipment deployed for Desert Shield; Desert Shield TACMET Fielding plan; Selected TACMETequipment status; Desert Shield TACMET requirements; weather support at Diego Garcia (Wiki); TACMET Scrub; TACMET Doctrine/Concept of operations; GMQ-33 equipment at Diego Garcia; weather support issues and guidance; 3 weather squadron status; new TACMET doctrine; equipment requirements; GMQ-33 requirements; TACMET issues; request for instrumentation ideas; transfer of wind measuring set; policy on TACMET redeployment; air weather service equipment requirements for Desert Shield; TACMET shortfalls; excess TACMET; disk drive demonstration; shipment of D-200 facsimile converter; evaluation of gridcase hard/disk drive requirement; Global Positioning Satellite (PLGR, DAGR) system operations ; equipment shortfalls; TMQ-36 transfer requirement validation; tatical upper air data collection instrument; disposition of GMQ-33 transportable cloud height detector; TACMET attrition assets; TACMET request res[pmse; TACMET maintenance concept; ono/crisis requisition of products for deployed weather operations; and items of interest, such as responses to 5 weather wing/crisis action team action items.
PART OF COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS ON OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. TITLE MODIFIED. INCLUDES MESSAGES, QUESTIONS/ANSWERS, HANDWRITTEN NOTES, CORRESPONDENCE, DATA TABLES, AND SITUATION REPORT.
TITLE_AE WEATHER: REQUIREMENTS/ACQUISITIONS
For information on obtaining a copy of the document described above, please click here
Record provided by: Air Force History Index.org
Other Similar Weather Sets
GMQ-13This was the prior model also called a rotating beam ceilometer. It was a vacuum tube era device that used a light projector that was motorized and a separate detector with a vertical beam. By knowing the base line distance between the two optical components the right triangle could be solved to get cloud height.
TMQ-34 Meteorological Measuring SetThis is a weather station in a similar type carrying case. Sensors for wind speed & direction, temperature and barometer with display of these and some derived parameters.
TMQ 36 Tactical Wind Measuring Set
2 March 1989 - Following completion of the AN/TMQ-36 Tactical Wind Measuring Set QOT&E in February, Sacramento ALC granted conditional approval to Vaisala, Inc. for the production of the TMQ-36, subject to the company making a number of design changes.
The FAS web page has some information on the GMQ-33.
A1 System Case
Should Include three adjustable length legs to allow leveling top panel so laser beam goes straight up. One leg is missing from this set and it's mounting clip is broken off. The set arrived with the adjusting legs attached upside down on the outside of the transport case instead of mounted inside the lid.
A1A1 Optical Unit
Laser pulse transmitter and receiver.
A1A2 Analog & Remote Card
Includes a DB-37f connector for remote operation. It's strange they used such a large connector when only a small number of the pins are wired. There is a dummy automated observing system (AOS) plug to mate with A1A2-J1. Not included with my set. It's not clear if the AOS plug is needed for manual use. I expect it's possible to make a single measurement using just the manual trigger button, but with the AOS plug automatic measurements might be made at some predetermined time interval?
A1A3 Signal Processing Unit & Display
Includes Built-In Test Equipment (BITE) function and has system On/Off switch LED display for charging/ready and cloud height in feet, and battery selection switch for Lithium primary battery (BA-5557/U) or Ni-Cad rechargeable battery (BB-557/U).
The display consists of a green LED (charging/ready) and a 4 digit display of feet (0001 to 9999 feet).
There is a modular power supply module that accepts a 24 Volt input, so unlike the TQM-34 that uses 12 volts from it's battery, this unit may wire the batteries for 24 volt operation.
The processor IC is a Z84C00.
A1A4 Battery Assembly
When this panel is pulled out there are two compartments, the top one for the BB-557/U rechargeable Ni-Cad battery and the bottom one for the BA-5557/U primary LI-SO2 battery.
It's not clear how to open the box to install the batteries. The sliding lid is very stiff, probably because someone left a battery installed that went bad.
There is some type of loose material inside the case, maybe the result of a corroding battery?
For more about the battery see the TMQ-34 battery paragraph.
A1A5 Battery Charger
This is a removable unit that has a standard US AC plug (but can be strapped for either 120 VAC or 220 VAC input and will charge the BB-557/U or may also work for some of the early bb type 5590 family batteries. It looks like the charger in the TMQ-34 set except it has a plate to allow attaching to the A1A1 transport case.